Meaningful Youth Participation – Yvonne Ogollah


Youth Alive! Kenya - January 18, 2023 - 1 comment

Yvonne Ogollah is the overall winner of our Young Leaders Stories Competition. She is the Chairperson and the Head of Programs at Dreams Girl Youth Group, the secretary of our Kisumu County Working Group, a devout good governance champion and a girls’ rights advocate. Read her winning submission.

My name is Yvonne Ogollah. I joined Youth Alive’s Kisumu County Working Group in 2019 with a youth organization called Dreams Girl Youth Group. The organizatiin was registered in October 2017 by a group of 20 young women from the informal settlement of Nyalenda in Kisumu County. The desire to initiate a village savings and loaning brought the young women together This initiative came after a series of trainings on financial management and entrepreneurship by a grass root project called Afya Ziwani. The project aimed at socio-economic empowerment of young women and adolescents as a way to reduce the prevalence of HIV infection and teenage pregnancies in Nyalenda. 

Through the approach of collaboration and partnership, we got to Youth Alive! Kenya. During their Kushiriki Ni Jukumu Letu Phase II project, I applied as a civic educator and I was trained and engaged for 6 months. 

MILESTONES

During the Kushiriki Ni Jukumu Letu Phase II project, I trained young women in Kisumu County on the need for girls and young women to participate in decision making and governance processes, especially budget making; capturing aspects of budget documents, budget timelines, and role of community in budget process and social accountability, concepts were new to the members.

As a result of this training, the members developed interest and started to attend the public participation on the budget documents. We ensured that in every public participation in Nyalenda A and B wards, three members of Dreams would attend. Before the public participation, we used social media to inform the community about the planned public participation and also organized community awareness trainings on project identification and prioritization. 

During the public participation sessions that we attended, we took lead on the breakout rooms and helped to summarize documents to the elderly and other attendees as  the time allocated for the public participation was usually very limited. 

In the financial year 2019/2020, with the training from Youth Alive! Kenya, we joined Nyalenda Neighborhood association and other community members of Nyalenda and drafted a petition to the county government  demanding an explanation why the construction of Modern Market Stalls and the project had not been implemented despite 2 million shillings being awarded for it. Due to our petition, the modern market stalls were constructed successfully.

In addition, as the chairperson of Dreams, I have continued to coordinate my team members and  have continuously sensitized the young women in Nyalenda during community activities on the need to participate in budget making, public participation forum and civic processes like elections and social accountability.

Recently, Dreams was referred by Youth Alive! Kenya and we were trained to conduct a community scorecard  in Nyalenda Health Centre and Kowino Health Centre in Nyalenda in December 2022

Lastly, I was part of the PARTICIPATE! National Conference 2022, supported by Youth Alive! Kenya, Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT) and the Danish Youth Council (DUF). The facilitated sessions equipped me with knowledge and skills in democratic participation, organizational development and partnerships which has really helped me to run our youth group and set up systems and structures that we lacked. Our youth group and the members are more empowered. We will continue to work with more young women to ensure that no one is left behind in participatory democracy and governance. 

CONCLUSION

Youth Alive! Kenya has continued to build my organization and I  through continuous capacity building on democratic participation, organizational development, partnerships, budget advocacy and leadership. Many of the members of Dreams are now budget champions in Kisumu County through the support of Youth Alive! Kenya and the Kisumu County Working Group.

This year, I was elected as the secretary of the working group and I continue to champion for meaningful youth engagement in decision making and governance processes.

Thank you so much Youth Alive! Kenya for holding my hand and helping me to be a changemaker  within my community and giving  other many young leaders a platform.

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1 comment

  1. Philippah Nairiantoi

    Wow, she’s officially one of my role models ❤️,

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